Saturday, April 30, 2011


i-interrupt the quilt viewing to show you this i-pad pouch/bag I finished last week. I used a Mary Engelbreit "Honey Bun" (1.5" strips of fabric all rolled up). The original pattern is at Moda Bake Shop and is called "The Bookkeeper." The original was sized to hold an Amazon Kindle or similar product. i-Decided to make it fit an i-Pad. Thus the i-References in this post. Since i-Don't have an i-Pad, though, it also fits my netbook. It's about 9" x 12". I added the button rather than velcro because it was cuter that way. Also, I added some loops on the back so a handle could be added & it could be used as a shoulder bag. i-Think it is very cute!

Do you like my bag? Good-bye. Good-bye.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Girl Scout Quilt Number 1, which is really number 2

Okay, NOW I can show you what we've been keeping secret for MONTHS! This year our Girl Scout troop made 2 quilts. The first one we made for a very special young lady. I will share about that one tomorrow. The second one we made was for our troop leader. I don't know if she suspected anything, but she certainly couldn't have known exactly what we were doing. We had each girl design a quilt square using fabric markers or embroidery. Each design represented what they thought about Girl Scouts. Those were used on Quilt 1 for a fellow scout. She had NO idea & I can't wait to tell you more about that.

The other quilt, for our Troop Leader, Kelly, used each girls handprints and signature. Getting their signatures on the hands was quite interesting. Since I am a dork & didn't think about letting the handprints dry then having the girls sign them, I jumped through hoops to get names on there. I had them write their name, I scanned them, resized them, printed them in reverse, went over those with iron on transfer markers, ironed them on, and on some, had to go over them with fabric markers. Really, wouldn't it have made much more sense to let them write it? Well, the truth is we PLANNED to embroider all the names. Best laid plans....

I had extra Girl Scout Fabric from the first quilt, so we used that for Kelly's quilt. I found pictures that featured the whole troop and some with her in them. I printed those onto fabric, then sewed them to white squares. The fabric included some letters and numbers, so we were able to put our troop number on it. My friend Kathy and her daughter Annie arranged the pieces and Annie sewed them together for the front. I sewed the pieces for the back together. Then Natalie (my daughter) and I discovered that using quilt basting spray and getting all the wrinkles out is harder than it looks! Thankfully there were the 2 of us. She's actually pickier than I am and was NOT settling for ANY bubbles or wrinkles at all. I just had to get her to listen to the best way to get them out. LOL!

The real fun started when we quilted it. Did you know that quilts with cotton batting are heavy? Quite heavy? Of course, all the paint & pictures probably didn't help the weight issue. I quilted the vertical seams in the ditch using my walking foot. Then Natalie quilted the horizontal seams. I went back and did diagonal stitching on the Girl Scout fabric squares. Then, because I really just am a glutton for punishment wanted to be sure the batting wouldn't shift, I free-motion quilted around the handprints and the pictures. Kathy suggested using the backing to wrap around as a border & binding which worked really well. Except I couldn't figure out exactly how to get the corners mitered correctly. I should have called Kathy, but by then it was about midnight or 1 a.m.

Now, if you read my last post you know that I was still up at 3 a.m. And at 4 a.m. I had my dvr set for the wedding. If you didn't read that part shame on you go read it now so you'll know what I'm talking about. I think you're seeing now WHY I was still up at 3 a.m. You see, after I got the binding on, I thought it needed to be washed before we gave it to her. So I put it on gentle. Which meant it. didn't. wring. out. (I just typed it that way to sound like all the popular bloggers---ha! ha!) It took several "spins" to get it to not be soaking. Finally, I left it to dry overnight. Then I stayed up because I was SURE the ceremony would start any time. Or not.
Now you know the rest of the story. Tomorrow I'll share the story of Quilt 2, which is really Quilt 1.

By the way, Kelly is very petite, so her quilt is shorter than the one for the Girl Scout, who is normal sized. LOL! Kelly tells me I'm freakishly tall b/c I say she's so short!

Of Quilts and Queens and Kids

I have been busy sewing and quilting this week. I can't show pictures this week, but I will SOON! Actually, a trio of families have been sewing this week to make something happen.

I was actually up so late last night that I thought I would catch glimpses of the Royal Wedding. I thought when everyone was saying "4:00" for the time it meant it would be on at 3:00 here. Apparently the others were also in my time zone as 3:00 brought live shots of folks entering the Abbey. Then, I thought, "Oh, 4:00 is the wedding time," so even though I was finished with my work by 3:30 I stayed up. Apparently the actual wedding was at 5:00 my time! LOL! Whatever time it was I didn't see it live. I did, however, see some recorded parts while I was pinning some more sewing today and caught a glimpse of the Queen. What a lovely woman. To me, she's always had an "Old" look to her, which now means she doesn't look like she's aged. Prince Charles, on the other hand, looks much, much older than he is.

Some stations were showing the wedding of Diana and Charles. She looked like a frightened little school girl rather than the teacher turned princess she would be. How much happier Kate and William look. It made me so sad to think of how the marriages of the 3 royal children have turned out. I hope the new generation will take to heart the serious of their commitment. Of course, just seeing Diana makes me so sad knowing how short her life was and how tragically it ended. I will never forget staying up watching the news reports that night. So glad there is something HAPPY in that family today!

While my kids are not royalty (I have said we are all royal---pains at times! LOL), the Queen did have me help her with a skirt for our Girl Scout banquet tonight. It's a 50's theme. And a Paris theme. And a Black & White film theme. The girls are so indecisive! ha, ha! this was actually narrowed down from about 12 suggestions (Including rainbows and fluffy unicorns---we're a multi-level/age troop). Nat wanted a poodle skirt, but decided the little Scotty was cuter, so she used that, cut it out, attached it & the leash to the skirt & sewed the side seams. Due to time restraints, I did the waistband and elastic. It looks cute. Bethany is going with just the black & white theme. Oh, dear, I just realized I haven't put any new badges on their vest/sash. Yikes! Oh, well, we'll be busy this summer doing that.

And other "kid" news, I have none about my kidney stone. I am going to call the dr. AGAIN & see if they can give me results. I'm hurting again & not liking the not knowing what's going on. Maybe I should become that ROYAL PAIN I mentioned so I can find out about my royal pain. Hmmmm.

Hopefully I will have pictures to share tomorrow!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Another round

Apologies for not updating more. I have several projects (fabric ones) in the works & will update with those soon. Want to share more about our Shop Hop, too. I'm ITCHING to get inky and make cards. But right now my "project" is getting rid of another set (I think) of kidney stones. I'm going to see the dr. again in the a.m. I will know more tomorrow. For now, ibuprofen and an occasional 1/2 of a hydrocodone (aka Vicodin) are my friends. Though, the hydrocodone is so potent even at 1/2 strength that I sleep 12 hours, get up to eat & go back to sleep! YIKES!

A bit of news: My mother-in-law is getting married on June 4th! I'm thinking of making a dress like the black & red one here:
or maybe this one:

One of these is more likely:
But longer and wider! And looser. Um, and with different shoes. Or this.
I love this fabric line:
It's called Summer Breeze. Summer is here. Breeze is not!

Until next time!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Blessed Easter to you all!

In case I'm not back on before Easter, I just want to wish each of you a blessed Easter. I love the pretty colors, the wonderfully sweet looks of all things spring and the yumminess of Easter treats, but I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you why I love Easter most. If it weren't for Easter, life would be all for naught. Some days life here can be GREAT, but other times, it really stinks. From little inconveniences of lice and kidney stones to major suffering in my friend who have or have had cancer to the worst pain of losing someone you love, life is hard. Easter gives us hope. Not just the hope that tomorrow the cancer will be gone (though we do pray for that!) or that we'll have enough money in the bank to pay the bills (again, we pray for that and do our job to work for it), but a hope that is deeper still. It's the hope that when this life is done, we can say good-bye forever to pain, suffering, and even little inconveniences.

That hope isn't just a wishful thought. It isn't a magic formula, either. It's a hope in Somoene. It's trusting Someone who promised it to us.

The problem is, we don't deserve it. No matter how good we are, now matter how much we do to help others or live the right way, we are NEVER good enough. Ever. What we deserve is to be separated from God forever because HE is perfect & we aren't. Yet, in His love for us, He reached out & let Someone else take our punishment. Imagine being a child & knowing you broke your mom's favorite vase because you threw a ball in the house when you weren't supposed to be doing that. Imagine that your mom grounded you and said you would spend the next month's allowance to pay for that vase. Then imagine a friend stepping in and saying, "I'd like to pay for the vase and I'd like to be grounded instead." All you would have to do is accept that gift and your payment was paid in full. That's what God wants us to do. He wants us to know that we don't deserve anything but a death sentence, but His OWN SON took our place and died for us. Then He came back to life to give us hope that we, too, could be with Him one day if we just trust in His gift.

I'm not a "preacher" and I don't like to "beat the Bible over someone's head." The truth is, though, that I love my friends and family so dearly that I want to spend not just THIS life with them, but all of eternity. It would break my heart to know that I might not see them again when this world is through. And for those who already know Jesus, I can hardly wait until we celebrate Him together in Heaven!

Happy Easter---Happy Resurrection Day---to all of you!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fabric and Friends

Sorry I've not been better about updating this blog. Just another quick post with my FAVORITE picture of your Quilt Shop Hop. This was our first Quilt Shop stop on Friday. We'd also stopped at Payless shoes & McD's before this. hee-hee! Look at the name of the store above our heads! I couldn't have said it better. Love these ladies!
Kathy was the only shopper at that store. Oh, wait, I got somethings, too. hee-hee! I think it was more wildflower fabric & a piece on clearance. Something in this line:
Or it could have had the flowers below on it:
These are Gaillardia flowers. They're one of our annual wildflowers & are especially prevalent near San Marcos, Texas, the home of my Alma Mater, Southwest Texas State, which is Now just Texas State U. They were actually the school flower & our yearbook was called The Gaillardian. That picture almost looks like an armadillo should pop out from behind it!

Next post I'll show you some more of our trip & some more goodies found.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Few Pictures and BIG NEWS!!!

Just a quick post to share a few pictures for now. Above is one of the Quilt Shop Hop quilts. This one was at Honey Bee Quilts in Austin. Each store did their own version of this quilt. It was designed by a shop owner here in San Antonio, Terry Soll of Creative Sewing Center. Each year a different shop designs the quilt.

I mentioned getting gas & eating. Oh, wait, no, that's not it, is it? Or maybe it is! LOL! This was where we ate in Buda---pronounced Byuda, not like Buddha, in case you wondered. I'll have to find a picture of the shop in Buda. It looked SO little and we said, "Well, we won't spend much time here." Oh, how wrong we were. They had so much packed into such a small store and it was organized so you could move around. I don't know how they did it. After that we drove around the block (Buda is a tiny town so we could have walked) to eat at this Mexican Restaurant called Garda's. Well, that's what we THOUGHT the sign said. We'd never heard the name Garda. I joked that it was a female guard in Spanish. Inside we saw the menu & realized it was Garcia's, but we'll always call it Garda's! The BEST Mexican food. We would drive back just to eat there. And the waitress was so helpful.

Here we are after eating a yummy full meal. Look at all that hair on Kathy's head! Do you remember that it wasn't long ago that she had no hair after chemo? And, see, Danette is tiny! The ribbons we have on are for First Time Shop Hoppers. Kathy also bought us a Shop Hop pin & a Breast Cancer Awareness pin. Yes, this picture is "Team Kathy" but this weekend we got to be "Team Quilty!" And it was FAR better than having to watch Kathy endure chemo and surgery and blood transfusions. Thank you Lord for a GOOD time with friends!

We interrupt this post to bring you an important announcement: Kathy just got a call that she WON a BASKET full of prizes from one of the shops in San Antonio! We can't wait to see what's inside! 

Life must go on, so I will stop now. Look for more updates soon!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Shopped til we dropped!

I am about to drop into bed but wanted to just give you some fast info on our whirlwind Quilt Shop Hop:

Drove over 400 miles in 3 days.
Purchased a few meals along the way. Found some great mom & pop diners.
Found the neatest quilt shops on our journey. We were able to find pieces to collections we started from different stores. Even found some to finish a set I'd only found online before!
Had some great friend time sans kids & hubbies. Got slap happy today when we were approaching about our 10th shop this week. Laughed so hard we cried on more than one occasion.

Cost of eating: not too bad
Cost of gas: outrageous
Cost of fabric: unmentionable
Time spent with friends: PRICELESS!

Look for pictures in the near future. Or next week. Or sometime before summer!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bluebonnet Hopping!

Aren't those flowers pretty? If you are a Texan you just looked at them and asked, "Where are they so I can take pictures?" These are some of our famous state flowers, the Bluebonnet. They are wildflowers so only bloom once a year and NOW is that time! Why, you may wonder, am I showing you bluebonnets?

Let me tell you why! Over the next few days I am going to be spending time with 2 of my dearest friends on a Quilt Shop Hop! We'll be driving around San Antonio and up to the Texas Hill Country visiting several quilt shops. The shop hop is called the Bluebonnet Shop Hop. We didn't have much rain this winter, so we aren't sure how well the bluebonnets are doing, but we are hoping (or at least I am) to see LOTS of bluebonnets and wildflowers along the way.

These are the beautiful women who will be trapped in a car with me:
You already know about my friend Kathy in the pink. This picture was taken nearly a year ago when another friend of ours had a fundraiser to help with Kathy's medical expenses. This was not long before her surgery and subsequent hair loss from chemo. I'll try to take some pictures this weekend so you can see how cute her curly hair is filling in. She has a THICK head of hair now! Hope that gives some encouragement to anyone currently in the midst of chemo.

This picture must make you think one of two things: Kathy is a giant or the other lady is tiny. Kathy is NOT a giant! LOL! She's about my height and has lost quite a few pounds since that picture (where she was already smaller than I am, I think). The other dear friend is Danette. Doesn't that sound like a tiny name for a petite person? She is Kathy's other Houston traveling buddy. This will be the first time the three of us will get to go somewhere all together. Typically, when one of us was with Kathy in Houston, the other one had the extra children at her house. The one time we did get to be in Houston together was for Kathy's birthday when I took all the girls up to be at Kathy's surprise party. This is going to be a blast being together having fun----without kids!!!!

We'll be going to THIS store:
And THIS store:
And THIS store:
And THIS store:
And all the other stores listed HERE!

We might just come home with some of this:
Or a little more of this:
Or maybe something like this:
I do know we'll be getting some of these at each stop for free! Just not sure what type they will be:
Those are fat quarters, which are NOT a body part, in case you wondered. They are pieces of fabric cut 18" x 22".

I understand cookies will be served at each stop. Unless by some strange occurrence the shop owners have Celiac Disease & bake Gluten Free, I'll be skipping that part.

I'm really looking forward to these couple of days spending time with my friends and drooling over pretty fabric. Check back next week to see what we bring home with us!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Moda Bake Shop Bag DETAILS!!!!

AND I'm back with details! I made this as part of the Moda Bake Shop monthly contest. This month's contest was to use charm packs. For those not in the quilty world, a Charm Pack is a package of 5" squares of fabrics. Moda company makes the ones officially called "Charm Packs" and they put a square of each fabric in a line of fabrics in the pack. I like them because I can see all the prints in a line and then if I want to order yardage, I know what the print looks like.

I chose to use THIS pattern/tutorial because I love bags (big surprise, huh? LOL!). I used a line of fabric called Lovely.

 Do you like the button closure? You can't see it so well in this picture, but on the yellow/blue side, the button is right in the middle of the flower! So cute! I bought myself an I-top to make self-covered buttons easily. Used a Michael's coupon, of course! I saw the i-top at Archivers last fall & thought, "Why would I want to make my own brads?" THEN I saw someone using it on a blog for buttons & thought, "I WANT THAT!" Of course, I waited for a 50% off coupon & enough money to do it, and I'm so glad I got it. I joke about all the "i-junk" people have: i-pad, i-pod, i-phone....Well, I am now part of the "i-junk" group! ha, ha!

I'm going to be putting this in our "Send Natalie to Camp" auction we'll be starting in a few days. I'll post when we have that all set up & ready to go. Natalie is going to be raising money to go to church camp. She's getting some of her cute polymer clay items ready to sell and I told her I could put in some of my crafts, too. Our "BIG" item is going to be a rag quilt made of our blue/teal/green/brown fabrics we've used so often and love. The back will be flannels to match. Soft and cozy!

Be sure to keep checking back to find out about Natalie getting ready for camp!